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SwiftyDS 29th August 2019 21:36

Made a start today on the remaining flash lines in the panels and testing out all the lights and electrics/warning lights on the donor in readiness for the MOT.

Bonnet, front bumper, roof and upper part of rear clam/ear scoops have all been sorted and the GRP in those areas cleaned up and rubbed down with various grades sanding compounds.

Certainly looks a lot better now, cleaner and very white again!

There are a couple of areas where I’ve filled that need another coat of white primer but it’s really just the doors, sills and rear clam to tackle now- the rear deck of the rear clam around the spoiler is by far the worst for flash lines.

Lights and electrics were fine apart from the drivers side headlight where main beam wasn’t working. Quickly traced this to a bad solder joint on one of the wires going into the relay that’s needed to convert the MR2 setup to H4 bulbs.

Hella covers off now in readiness for the MOT given I’ve wired the spotlights in as front fog lights.

I’ve done the best I can on checking alignment of headlamp beams - there is some adjustment still on the back of the Golf lights that are used but I suspect this may be an area I come a bit unstuck on with the MOT tester!

Nostromo 30th August 2019 10:35

Not sure if this will be helpful to you Dave (I may have mentioned it before) but I glued some wingnuts onto the rear of the last few threads on the adjusting screws of the headlights. Made adjustment much easier than having to remove the light each time.

Have you booked your MOT already?

SwiftyDS 30th August 2019 11:19

Thanks Nick - I remember you telling me this before but it completely slipped my mind. Will do this over the weekend as it is a right pain getting in to adjust them.

No, not booked the MOT yet. Still need to tidy up the filling around the rear lights and the door cards need putting back on and the interior tidying up a bit. I’d also like to sort the rest of the flash lines out on the sills and the rear clam so it looks a little bit more completed - I’ve got a sort of friendly MOT guy I’ve lined up for when I am ready.

I’ve set end of October as a deliberately far way out deadline to be ready for MOT in the hope I’ll be well finished before then!

Nostromo 30th August 2019 13:11

I was toying with a removable hatch in the wheel arch lining to reach up and adjust from behind but really once they're done, unless you end up having to replace one, you shouldn't need to touch them again.

SwiftyDS 30th August 2019 18:47

Yep hopefully shouldn’t need doing that often. My front arches are also quite narrow the way I’ve ended up fitting them so it’s not too difficult to reach round to get to the headlamp adjustment screws, especially if I do the mod you’ve suggested.

I bit the bullet this afternoon and dug out pretty much all of the filler that I’d used to mod the rear clam for the Sierra MK1 lights. This had cracked quite badly where the bulk of the filler was in the wing area. I suspect I didn’t wait long enough when applying it the first time and as it’s quite a void to fill it probably just expanded over time and then cracked.

So I dug it all out and built it up slowly, this time using GRP resin filler which I allowed to set/harden and built it up in a number of layers.

I’ve left it to fully harden overnight and to cool down (as it’s GRP based it gets quite hot as the hardener does it’s job) and will work on the final surface filler over the weekend and give it a coat of primer.

Whilst I had the lights out I also fettled with the mounting points for these as I wasn’t happy with how flush they were on the leading edge of the clam wing.

I’m much happier with them now (they aren’t actually bolted in on the picture above so there’s a gap that shouldn’t be there).

Another job to add to the list of things to do before the MOT is to take off all the black vinyl I’d put on around the clam vents and rear number plate area of the clam. This was just to help me visualise what I would look like come paint time, but I will probably give these areas a coat of black plastidip just to keep the look going until it comes to paint time - the vinyl is just falling off the fibreglass anyway.

scimjim 31st August 2019 10:25

Good luck with the MOT.

Front fog lights aren’t tested on anything pre 2018 (1980 for rear) - and if they’re spotlights, the lens is the wrong pattern to be used as fogs.

SwiftyDS 31st August 2019 18:47

Thanks scimjim. Yep they are really spotlights but using the fog light switch and circuit from the MR2 Roadster.

I was sort of taking a belt and braces approach to the MOT given the last set of changes brought in, since which I’ve had conflicting advice as to whether tell tale lights are tested on the dash/switches for circuits that are present. As the front fog light switch/circuit is there and operational I thought it may still get tested but looks like it won’t.

scimjim 31st August 2019 19:12


Fail/major for main beam (post 1986)
Fail/major for rear fog (post 1980)
Advisory/minor for indicators (post 1936)
Advisory/minor for hazards (post 1986)

SwiftyDS 4th September 2019 19:07

More filling and rubbing down of the rear clam the last few days. As a bit of a rest from that, and having spent a bit more time with various wet and dry papers on the front bumper and bonnet, I couldn’t resist any longer and decided to apply the first set of 1986 Lombard RAC Rally decals.

To be honest I was struggling with sizing the red Pirelli decals for the front wing/bonnet area and the same for the rear wing/clam. I’d ordered a set that just didn’t seem to look right so decided I’d go ahead and apply them as that was the only way I was going to get to see/prove if they looked right.

Well I couldn’t just stop there with the Pirelli logo and got a bit carried away ....

I’ve actually got a much more decent finish on the bonnet and front bumper than I ever imagined I would based on how the panels came out of the mould. As those will know who have been following my build thread, I’m not going to be getting the car painted for some time, so although it’s never going to be a shiny gloss look, I rather like the Matt white especially now it’s come up so smooth.

Most of the flash lines are off the rest of the panels now, and just a bit more filling required around the back end of the clam.

I know the Rally livery won’t be to everyone’s taste, but let me know what you think of it so far. Shell logo to go on the front wing area just to the left of the headlamp, then Shell script just above the badge and Motorcraft script both in black at the top edge of the bonnet. Just about everything else has been sourced for the rest of the car to complete the illusion!

IanA 4th September 2019 19:28


Originally Posted by SwiftyDS (Post 101966)
...I’m not going to be getting the car painted for some time, so although it’s never going to be a shiny gloss look, I rather like the Matt white especially now it’s come up so smooth...

Good plan. I drove my Z300S in gel coat white for four years before getting it painted. That gave me a chance to try out various stripes, badges and indicators.

Nostromo 4th September 2019 21:35

Wow Dave, didn't know you were going that route with it. I think they look great!! I really like the matt white too. Matt is very in nowadays ;)

SwiftyDS 4th September 2019 21:52

Thanks for the positive feedback.

I wasn’t sure what to do Nick before painting it, then as the panels came up OK with various grades of wet and dry and, as you say, matt is the new black, I decided I’d see how much of the 1986 rally livery was recreatable. The cost of decent quality vinyl decals pretty amazed me in terms of how cheap they were and what started off as a few discrete stickers quickly turned into sourcing a complete replica livery minus the dark blue stripes down the size and upper part of the rear clam.

I’ve had a quote to do them in a vinyl wrap but the wrap company aren’t keen to do it on the raw GRP even if it is rubbed down, so if I decide to stay with the rally theme that bit will have to wait until it’s actually painted.

Will post a couple more pics over the next week or so as I finish applying the decals and get a better idea of what it looks like - oh and of course it will look that much better with the blue rally mudflaps that have just arrived :-)

wozzy 5th September 2019 19:39

Great job Dave, i like the look of that

SwiftyDS 6th September 2019 08:54

Cheers Lee - I must admit it looks much better than I ever expected and I just need to sort out the remaining filling around the rear of the clam and sills/door edges now before I fit the rest of decals.

I’m even tempted to have a go at painting the top of the rear clam/ear scoops, and the air intakes, in a dark blue Plasti Dip to create the Ford Motorsport stripes. Needs to be matt to match the white and for the cost of a couple of cans of Plasti Dip I might just give it a go and see what it looks like. So long as it’s going on panels where I’ve polished up the gel coat it should in theory still pull off as Plasti Dip would on a gloss finish so I can always pull it off if it looks pants.

How’s that latest kit of yours going - back from paint now is it?

Nostromo 6th September 2019 11:38

Dave, if you're going for plasti dip, as in the proper stuff, not the Halfords equivalent, check you're getting tins with the newer spray nozzle. I may have mentioned this before but my memory doesn't stretch past a few hours at the moment. The newer nozzle has a much nicer spray pattern and gives a better finish. There's a video on YouTube by Fonzi (think his name is Fonzi) which explains it all.

SwiftyDS 6th September 2019 11:43

Cheers Nick - yes I remember you mentioning this before. I did order some black Plasti dip last week to do the matte black areas with and checked it was the newer nozzle. Haven’t got round to using that yet as not quite happy with the finish on the panels in those areas.

Also just ordered some Flex Blue which is the closest I can get to the dark blue Ford colour for the stripes and going to give it a go. They will be lighter than the original colour but should break up the white a bit. I know you can order a wider range of RAL colour doses now from Plasti Dip but without seeing it on a car/panel it’s a bit hit and miss. At least I’ve been able to see a few different cars painted in Flex Blue.

Nostromo 6th September 2019 12:03

You're spraying the stripes on? I hadn't really thought of doing that. Out of interest, will you use something like a laser level to get the lines looking straight? My original plans of straight bits of vinyl just wouldn't have given the right finish and would have probably looked a bit wavey due to the curve on the panels.

SwiftyDS 6th September 2019 18:06

Yes Nick I’m going to give it a go. I think there’s a bit of “forgiveness” in the Plasti Dip paint with it being a rubber type texture and I’ve got a decent enough smooth finish on the area around the top of the clam, air intake and the doors.

I played about with masking the stripes up and decided on a 2” gap between them and keeping them the same size, rather than reducing the width of them towards the rear of the clam as in the original.

Here’s a pic with it just mocked up in normal masking tape - I need to do it properly in low tack automotive masking tape, but you get the idea. Going with 2” tape like the picture here should make it easier and the trick with Plasti Dip is to remove the masking tape before the last coat dries otherwise it can easily tear the paint.

Anyway if it looks awful I should just be able to peel it off and either leave it white or use a different paint.

Hopefully the masking tape shows up on the pictures here as it’s pretty light in colour

SwiftyDS 10th September 2019 18:46

Been struggling to get a decent finish on the seams in the rear clam where I removed the flash lines. I managed to remove some of the flash lines by sanding, but the majority of them needed tackling with a power file first and in a couple of areas the gel coat was so thin I went through it.

I’m just about there now and as I’m going with the Matte White finish for now (it may well turn out to be Matte Shite as one of my mates said jockingly) I needed to blend the filled areas in with white primer. I also needed a misting of primer to see where I needed some finer filler to get a decent finish - well decent enough until it goes to the paint shop.

Bit more work needed but then the back end of the car should be there and I can complete the rest of the rally livery and the motorsport stripes.

Paul L 11th September 2019 15:09

The decals really transform the look of the car. :cool:

Good luck finishing off the rear end.

Cheers, Paul. :)

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